By Gregory F Shullai
Finally someone, Jairam Ramesh Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) Chairman Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment Forests, and Climate Change, has followed up on the ignoble dubbing that stamped Meghalaya as the “Most Corrupt State in the Country,” vide his letter dt 21st Mar 2023 addressed to Director Central Bureau of Investigation (circulated on WhatsApp), just when we were settling down to this embarrassing stigma. If the Bureau follows up on this letter they will find themselves like the proverbial mosquito in a nudist colony which didn’t know where to start.
The people of the State were finally accepting to be looked upon as the most corrupt in the country as a force majeure (an act of God) since it had been going on for the past ten years, and when the same people were elected back to power they believed God had forsaken them. They were beginning to realize that their fate was not in their hands and that the only formula for remaining sane was to accept what was handed out…not wanting anything different, not looking forward for help, not glancing backward with regret and not even hoping for a form of deliverance. They had begun to believe that it was their lot once and for all; that they had to bear with what had become a fixed way of life, a necessity, and that there was no point in concealing it…no matter what opinion we the people might have of ourselves it was all an idealism, because what we had become in the last ten years was, in essence, the necessity of a community, and therefore like the faithful ones that we are we had to love it – accept it, and we had begun to settle down to this state of mind, knowing that there still was that faith in the opposite values.
To be honest no one in power has the right to call out “the most corrupt” and do nothing about it, because not doing anything implicates the person himself, and if having been notified in writing, the CBI do nothing about it too they too stand condemned. On the other hand, for us, they have opened new perspectives with which to see ourselves. We know we have our faults, most of them embarrassing; we believe that we are to live by “the sweat of the brow” and we believe in forgiveness and in this belief our conscience is clear; but without developing a bad conscience, without learning to be profoundly dissatisfied with ourselves and our way of life, we cannot envisage higher norms and higher ideals and so we can never attain a higher state of self perfection. Maybe this is the wake-up call we have been waiting for, for without self control, without self discipline, we cannot attain that mastery over ourselves. Maybe we have not settled down with a bad conscience because of the forgiveness we learn and believe in and that is about the only plus point we can take out of this whole embarrassing situation, because to settle down with a bad conscience, to remain in ashes and to mortify ourselves is to fall short of the greater good that is still possible. If people are bent on using terms like “most corrupt State” or “best performing State” let us accept and settle down to the fact that we are being shown how moral valuations of a society that are usually not questioned, have their bad or dark side…they are trying to show us the hazy foreground, but what we know and seek to see is the clearer background,
I think we know better than anyone else what tremendous things we are capable of. There is not only the most “corrupt State” of the country nor only the “best performing” State in the country there is also a self belief… the ability to recreate ourselves and with it our State into something else, yes we are our own creators and that is something we haven’t lost – deep within us there is that highest possible faith and belief that we still can become the best, a faith that we were baptized in.